I’m a bit old-fashioned when it comes to values. Now, mind you, I’m not talking about politics here; I try to steer clear of hot-button issues when it comes to this column. However, I could see how the two could become easily confused or even intertwined.
I plan on instilling my values in my daughter, but I sometimes wonder whether I’d be doing her a disservice. The world we live in increasing is becoming an “anything goes” kind of place. In my book, though, “anything” does not go. And I want my little girl to understand that her choices and actions will affect her and those around her, likely for a long time to come. Additionally, I plan to stress that the way in which she conducts herself will teach others how to treat her.
For example, I’m not foolish enough to stick my head in the sand on the whole abstinence-education thing. We need to be realistic in explaining to teenagers how the world works. But I do believe young ladies should treat themselves and their bodies with respect, and they should expect the young men they date to do the same.
Furthermore, members of the opposite sex will always be around, but teenagers have limited time in which to focus on their high-school studies, extracurricular activities and other scholastic obligations. In other words, school — not boys (and certainly nothing more serious than an occasional casual date) — will come first for my daughter.
I also believe in the traditional route when it comes to creating a family — a lengthy courtship, marriage and then children. Obviously, I realize there are many paths to take when it comes to this subject, and that’s fine. There is no wrong or right way to lay down roots, and to each his own, right? This is just my preference, and I’d like it to be my child’s as well.
I also want my daughter to take other people into consideration when she makes decisions. We live in a “me-first” society, and I often think that’s a shame. There’s nothing wrong with taking a moment to examine how a choice, action or decision that may benefit the decision maker really could hurt the decision maker’s friends, family members or co-workers. I want my child to know that the world doesn’t revolve around her, and she should take care not to offend other people or hurt their feelings when doing so is avoidable.
These values are important to me, and I want to impart them to my little girl as she grows up. However, I’m often concerned that standing up for what’s fair and living life righteously will have those around Reese thinking she stepped straight out of the 1950s.
However, I’m prepared to equip her with the endurance and grace often required when taking the road less traveled. It won’t be easy, but it’s a task I’m up to.